High Comedy and the Fall of Raqqah

Writing about upcoming battles, making predictions is a dangerous thing. Saddam and his “mother of all battles” is a case in point. However, the complex situation in Northern Syria in the 2nd week of March, 2017 has all the earmarks of a wartime comedy farce. The battle for Raqqah against whoever is there claiming to … Continue reading High Comedy and the Fall of Raqqah

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Assad: No One Invited US to Manbij, All Foreign Troops in Syria Without Permission are ‘Invaders’

Any foreign forces, including those from the US, that enter Syria without invitation are invaders, Syrian President Bashar Assad told Chinese media in an interview, noting that no one had given the US troops currently in Manbij permission to be there. “Any foreign troops coming to Syria without our invitation or consultation or permission, they … Continue reading Assad: No One Invited US to Manbij, All Foreign Troops in Syria Without Permission are ‘Invaders’

Dangerous Fracture in US, Turkey and Russian Interests, as Operation to Oust ISIS from Raqqa Begins

After six years of constant conflict between the great powers in and around Syria, the US, Russia and Turkish military leaders have gathered in Antalya, Turkey to discuss how best to coordinate their operation to drive the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham/Levant (ISIS/ISL) from Raqqa. Discussions also include operations in Iraq. Some are calling this summit … Continue reading Dangerous Fracture in US, Turkey and Russian Interests, as Operation to Oust ISIS from Raqqa Begins

Commander of the US Central Command, General Joseph Votel (Photo: US Department of Defense)

Top US General Secretly Visits Syria amid Washington’s Plans to Dispatch More Troops

Commander of the US Central Command (CENTCOM), General Joseph Votel, has secretly visited the Syrian Arab Republic in order to meet with leaders of US-backed militant groups. The visit was made just two days after it was announced that Washington is going to dispatch more US troops to the Arab country. On Friday, Votel, who … Continue reading Top US General Secretly Visits Syria amid Washington’s Plans to Dispatch More Troops

What’s Really Happening in Syria’s al-Bab?

Following Turkey’s path in the war against the Islamic State (IS) in Syria is extremely confusing. One cannot even rely on high-level officials’ statements regarding developments on the ground. For instance, Gen. Hulusi Akar, the chief of general staff, is the highest Turkish official in uniform. As he was traveling Feb. 15 with President Recep … Continue reading What’s Really Happening in Syria’s al-Bab?

Will Turkey Get Its Way in Raqqa?

The US administration has tasked the Department of Defense with preparing, by Feb. 28, a comprehensive plan to defeat the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria. With only eight days left, it's clear we're entering the final phase of preparations for retaking Raqqa, the strategic heart of IS in Syria. Turkey has been involved in many conversations with the US this month. Following the Feb. … Continue reading Will Turkey Get Its Way in Raqqa?

US-Backed Advance on Raqqah. What is Going On?

The US-baсked Syrian Democratic Forces, predominantly Kurdish YPG units, have been developing an advance in the eastern countryside of the ISIS self-proclaimed Syrian capital of Raqqah. The decision to flank the ISIS stronghold from eastern direction followed a failed attempt of the US Special Forces and some SDF units to infiltrate the area of the … Continue reading US-Backed Advance on Raqqah. What is Going On?

While ISIS Tied Up with Palmyra, Kurds Advance in Raqqa

Syrian Kurds launched a series of strokes on surroundings of Raqqa and managed to liberate five villages in its vicinity from the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group. The Reuters news agency reported that the evacuation of militants from the eastern districts of Aleppo has been suspended. Perhaps, for the first time during the last time … Continue reading While ISIS Tied Up with Palmyra, Kurds Advance in Raqqa

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter © Yuri Gripas / Reuters

US Sending 200 More Special Ops Soldiers to Syria

The US is sending 200 additional military personnel to Syria to help drive Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) from Raqqa, US Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Saturday. Speaking in Bahrain at the Manama Dialogue conference on Middle East security, Carter said the 200, including special forces trainers, advisers, and explosive ordnance disposal teams, would … Continue reading US Sending 200 More Special Ops Soldiers to Syria